How can Yoga prepare me for labour?

Good question! It's one I get a lot :)

So I would break this into 4 areas - Physical, Mental, Breath and Community.

Physical:

I'm not a believer in doing very little exercise just because you are pregnant. In fact, if you exercise for about 30 minutes a day, it is proven to help you have a more comfortable pregnancy, a shorter and therefore easier labour, and a faster recovery. So a 'shorter and therefore easier labour' should bring music to your ears mamas-to-be! Focusing specifically on labour and birth, prenatal yoga will help you stay strong, toned and open, therefore making your labour easier and more manageable, and helping you have the strength and stamina required to keep you upright for as long as possible. Sometimes, and of course not all the time, labour can be a long process particularly for first-time mamas, whose bodies haven't gone through the experience of childbirth before. The majority of first-time mamas who come to my classes in Dublin, can be quite surprised...

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How much weight should I gain during Pregnancy, and why is it important?

Quite the controversial topic, I admit! But with more and more women becoming more and more overweight, it's really important that we address it so we can take control of our health and understand the impact it has on ourselves and also on our children. A recent study by the World Health Organisation forecasts that by 2030, 57% of Irish women and 48% of Irish men will be obese. I know most women understand they don't actually have to eat for two during pregnancy, but there is confusion over exactly how much extra you need to eat, and how much weight you should be putting on during each trimester. So I'm going to do my best to answer all those questions now.

What happens to our metabolism when we are pregnant?

During the first half of pregnancy, when baby’s growth is limited in size, the mother’s metabolism is in an anabolic phase, meaning it is building itself up. Glycogen stores (energy storage) are increased in the liver and the muscle, and protein synthesis is...

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I'm due for an induction,what can I do naturally to get this baby out?

Congratulations Mama, you are almost there! Within a number of days, you are going to be snuggling with your beautiful little one, breathing in that gorgeous new baby smell :) 

That is exactly what I want you to focus on. It's generally at this stage when heavily pregnant women who are right near, or have passed, their 'estimated due date', get understandably really frustrated. They just want this baby outta here! I totally understand, I do. 

However, I'd like you to flip your mindset for a moment, and instead of thinking negatively, and feeling incredibly impatient, I'd love you to start looking forward to your baby's birth. Understand that within days, or weeks, you ARE going to be a new mama. Take a moment to bring your hands down onto your belly, and take a big deep breath in, and a very long exhale. Do that three times, with a half smile on your face and repeat quietly 'my healthy baby is coming'. Understand that right now, baby is doing exactly what baby is meant...

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Why Posture Is SO important when you are Pregnant!

If someone told me when I was pregnant, that the way I sit or stand can affect the length of my labour...I'd be listening to them with each cell of my body! And that is what I'm here to share with you today.

As well as the type of labour you could have, your posture alone can also have an unbelievable influence on the levels of comfort / pain in your pregnant (and postnatal) body.

So let's talk about labour first. Having a short and active labour (which is what we all want, right?!) is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, requiring different pieces to slot in nicely together. Your posture and lifestyle during pregnancy is one of those crucial puzzle pieces.  It's never talked about, which blows my mind, so let's get into it.

Something as simple as slouching back into your chair in the evenings, during those last important few weeks of your pregnancy, can have a huge impact on how your baby lies inside you. Our lifestyle does NOT encourage baby to get into a 'good' birthing position....

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All you need to know about exercising in early pregnancy

I recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post about Exercising in Early Pregnancy. It was always something I felt unsure and even nervous about, particularly having experienced 3 miscarriages. 

As well as being a Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Specialist, and Prenatal Yoga instructor, I'm a keen runner and exerciser in general. I've always had so many worries and queries myself, so I've gone through all the areas of concern and answered all the questions you could possibly have inside the blog!

You know that I'm going to reassure (and advise ;-)) you that you should be exercising, all throughout pregnancy, but there definitely are important things you need to know about.

So if you'd like to know more, please delve in...

HuffPost Article - All you need to know about exercising in early pregnancy

If you have any questions at all, just comment below or get in touch on email or social media links.

Enjoy

x

 

Helen Plass is a Pre & Postnatal Fitness...

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What You Need To Know About Exercise During Pregnancy

On my first baby, when I found out I was pregnant, I stopped running in my first trimester. Why? Because having experienced a miscarriage a few months beforehand, there was just something in the back of my mind thinking "God I wonder does all this running and bobbing up and down somehow affect this tiny baby's ability to grow and cling on to life? So in essence, fear stopped me, and I guess also a lack of knowledge. I kept walking all the time throughout and eating healthily, but looking back, I really wished I kept my fitness levels higher.

Fitness and supporting women on their journey into motherhood are both big passions of mine. So, I committed to learning more about it. Learning the facts, the guidelines, the safety aspects - I recently completed my qualification as a Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Specialist, (I already hold pre/postnatal yoga, Hatha Yoga, and several other qualifications in the related field).

In a nutshell, the question everyone wants to...

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I'm pregnant, now what?!

So, you've peed on that stick and either you are feeling one of two ways: 

                     OR                              

Either way honey, congratulations, you're preggers!

Any time I found out, I was always more Buddy, than JLo in my reaction! But either way, you are probably asking...now what?!

Here are 8 things I'd recommend, and have done myself in the past:

1. Ensure you are taking your folic acid daily, and some form of prenatal vitamins. For me personally, prenatal vitamins I've taken previously haven't had a very positive affect on my digestive system. So I took the folic acid and specific, very high quality,  EFA Omega-3 and Omega-6 capsules, and made sure my diet was awesome.

2. Clean up your diet. Get rid of refined, sugary and processed foods. Increase your veggie intake and try to eat as healthily as you...

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How to manage sweating during pregnancy in 5 simple ways

Ah the glow of pregnancy, isn't it just beautiful? Eh no, no it's not. For some women, all they seem to have to do is go from sitting to standing and they break out in a sweat!  Do you find yourself peeling off the layers sometimes when everyone else isn't even warm?! All this increased heat and sweating is a right royal pain in the bum.

So why is it exactly that as pregnant women we tend to get all hot and sweaty more easily? What do we need to avoid doing? And is there anything we can do to reduce the sweats?

 Why the increased sweatiness?!

As we know, the body is under enormous change during pregnancy. It has to work extra hard as the mother's body has increased heat from a multitude of sources.

  • All pregnant women's systems are increasing their workload massively - the cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory and more - and all this extra energy creates extra heat. Mama-to-be also has an increased metabolism, which causes a rise in temperature.
  • As well as that...
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Exercises to Relieve Back Ache during Pregnancy

Pretty much every pregnant woman suffers from some form of back pain. Here are 5 simple exercises to do daily which will relieve back pain. Also listen out for my 2 tips to help prevent back ache too!

Exercises start at 2mins 50 sec.

Enjoy

 

If you would like to learn more about freeing yourself from discomfort in Pregnancy, feeling strong, sleeping soundly, and feeling prepared for your labour, check out our comprehensive Online Prenatal Program.

 

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Strengthening Exercises for Pregnant Women with Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy can be pretty rotten. I experienced it for a while on my 2nd baby, but worked my way through it with some strengthening and stabilizing movements like these. 

 

Try to practice daily for best results. Take a look at the 7 - Week Online Prenatal Program for lots more detail to help you through your pregnancy and delivery. 

Please share & like if you find them useful!

Big love 

xx Helen xx

  

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